Mozambique wants to place agricultural products on Asian and Canadian markets

14 June 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 14 June – Mozambique wants increase its agricultural exports to the Asian market, particularly Japan, the president of Mozambique’s Institute for Promotion of External Trade (IPEX) said.

João Macaringue, cited by the local press, said that the main advantage of Mozambique’s agricultural products was that they were considered to be “essentially organic” as they make no use of chemical fertlizers in their production.

This advantage could also be important in Europe and Canada as “these countries are giving priority to organic agriculture,” he said.

The farming sector employs around 80 percent of the Mozambican population, of a total of 19 million people, and contributes over 25 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to Macaringue, a commercial program is currently being negotiated with the Japanese government that will define the agricultural products that can be exported to Japan.

In Canada, the IPEX president said, an export contract was being negotiated with a large hotel chain.

This year is expected to be a record year for Mozambican agriculture, as the grain harvest is expected to reach 2.1 million tons, a 10 percent increase in relation to the 2004/2005 season.

Of the total harvest, 1.5 million tons is of maize, which corresponds to a rise of 11 percent and is more than the country’s estimated need for the grain, of 1.4 million tons.

The production of legumes and manioc is expected to rise, respectively by 9.6 percent and 13.8 percent, according to Mozambique’s Ministry of Agriculture (macauhub)